Archives for November 2013

Wait. Don’t comment

When your administrator pressures you to quickly provide a written or verbal statement about an incident that you witnessed or were involved in, stop, think and call CEA. Do not be insubordinate, but do let your administrator know that you have the right to representation before making any statements. A number of our members have needlessly incriminated themselves because of statements they provided to their administrators.

If you get called into a meeting with your principal or supervisor for an unspecified reason, it is your right under the law (NLRB v. Weingarten) to:

Ask the principal or supervisor to clarify the reason for the meeting. Don’t refuse to attend, but ask why.

Get representation. If the meeting becomes disciplinary in nature, you are entitled to call CEA, even if your principal says you shouldn’t or can’t.

Set the meeting at a time when your representative can attend. The administrator is obligated to do so.

Take up to five school days to schedule the meeting to make sure your representative can be there.

You have the right to the representative of your choice, not your principal’s choice. You can be represented by your FR or by a staff member from the CEA office. Faculty representatives do not have to participate in hearings if they don’t feel comfortable doing this kind of work.

CEA suggests representation any time the purpose of the meeting is for one of the following situations:

• Any type of disciplinary action

• Investigation meeting

• Reprimand

• Infraction of a work rule or board policy

• Questions concerning request or use of sick or personal leave

• Allegations of abuse

• Parental, student or community complaint

For more information about professional behavior, read Article 404 of the Master Agreement.


Call in right away

Last school year, our members were beset by a drastic shortage of substitutes. This year already, absent teachers’ classrooms are going uncovered even though HR continues to hire more substitutes.

If you were absent and your class was not covered, it could be that no substitute picked up the job. Available substitutes receive an automated phone call from SEMS between 5:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. to pick up vacancies for the next workday. If you report your absence after 10 p.m. the night before your absence, substitutes will not be called to cover your class until 5:30 a.m. on the morning of your absence.

Even though the contract requires you to call SEMS or your principal at least one hour and 30 minutes prior to your reporting time, notifying SEMS or the administration of your absence as soon as practicable will help ensure a sub picks up the request. Keep in mind: the earlier the better.

If you or one of your colleagues fails to obtain a sub, send an email to with your school and the grade level or subject area of the vacancy. Fore more information, consult Article 701.03 of the Master Agreement.